We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design | [Richard Dawkins]

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.
Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Richard Dawkins and his wife, actor Lalla Ward, give a highly entertaining read of Dawkins's 1986 critique of creationism, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design. The audiobook follows an updated edition of the book from 2006 and provides intricate explanations, by way of witty examples, of why random, infinitesimal gene changes over millions of years have produced us and the world we live in. Dawkins's writing contains a self-deprecating, dry sense of humor that comes to life as he reads his best-selling book. Alternating voices between Dawkins and Lalla Ward provides nice listening contrast while also setting apart examples, clarifications, and segments of greater detail. Dawkins and his wife live in a world that is perhaps more scientific on a daily basis than ours so the book takes great care to vary the delivery of information for greater emphasis and easy understanding.

Dawkins's goal in The Blind Watchmaker is to "remove by explaining" any doubt that anything but scientific fact is behind the origin of the universe. Just because something — like human beings or the universe — is complex does not mean that it cannot be explained. Dawkins works hard to help listeners understand the smaller-than-microscopic changes that evolved through staggering amounts of time, changes humans have a hard time intuitively comprehending. To paraphrase the author, do not draw conclusions from your own inability to understand something. The truth of Darwinism comes in its acceptance of physics, probability, and the unending march of time. Dawkins helps listeners out by using examples that are easier to grasp: for example, the evolution from wolves to domesticated dogs. Or how echo location in bats clearly shows the evolution of a trait necessary for survival of a species.

The Blind Watchmaker, read by the author and by Lalla Ward, is an example of an audiobook best listened to while not driving or operating anything requiring devoted attention. Dawkins calls upon us to think about complex concepts that are not necessarily part of daily life. Led by the author, The Blind Watchmkaer is a lively, humorous explanation of the seemingly mystical yet ultimately understandable maze of evolution that is our world. Along the way it is nice to know that a scientist such as Dawkins can, like us, forget to save information on his computer. Re-creation of his data simply leads to another example of probability and complexity that makes, as Dawkins reiterates, the circumstances of any of us being here surprisingly unique, but scientifically not unusual. —Carole Chouinard

Publisher's Summary

The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte. Natural selection - the unconscious, automatic, blind, yet essentially nonrandom process Darwin discovered - is the blind watchmaker in nature.

©1986, 1987, 1996 Richard Dawkins (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"As readable and vigorous a defense of Darwinism as has been published since 1859. (The Economist)

"The best general account of evolution I have read in recent years." (E. O. Wilson, Professor in Entomology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University)

“Dawkins’s explanation of the evolutionary process continues to be timely and revelatory…This dual reading is an interesting model for a scientific text. It helps to clarify and emphasize points… this is a commendable production, and an excellent primer on how evolution works.” (AudoFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (927 )
5 star
 (482)
4 star
 (286)
3 star
 (105)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (21)
Overall
4.3 (746 )
5 star
 (413)
4 star
 (201)
3 star
 (86)
2 star
 (30)
1 star
 (16)
Story
4.4 (762 )
5 star
 (452)
4 star
 (193)
3 star
 (79)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Eric Maine, USA 01-15-12
    Eric Maine, USA 01-15-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Challenging textbook more than an enjoyable listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is the type of book I'd recommend to someone who is struggling to understand how evolution works. For example, friends who are religious ONLY because they can't believe that evolution could create humans. However, it's not a book to casually enjoy.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Richard Dawkins? Why or why not?

    Yes. Dawkins has an incredibly indepth understanding of biology, genetics, evolution, etc. I learned vast amounts from this book, even though it was something of a struggle to get through. I especially appreciated Dawkins' narration - he's clearly excited about the material, and has a very pleasing voice. He would be an excellent person to hear a lecture from. Lalla Ward is similarly well spoken.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Hell no. It was exhausting in some places, and I needed to increase the narration speed to 1.25x just to finish it. This is not an easy book.


    Any additional comments?

    I got exactly what I wanted out of reading this book. I learned how evolution works, and I learned how we came to exist without the existence of any particular deity. Though this isn't a specifically atheist book, its purpose is to explain life without intelligent design. And it succeeds at this thoroughly.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 04-17-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 04-17-12

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8194
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    415
    410
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1524
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not NEARLY as polemical as I expected it to be."

    Not nearly as polemical as I expected it to be. A good solid piece of science writing on, and defense of, Darwinian evolution. The audiobook shows how back and forth reading between Dawkins and Ward worked (and probably made production time minimal).

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffery T. Harris 01-06-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    126
    73
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Withstanding the Test of Time"
    Where does The Blind Watchmaker rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Out of all of the non-fiction books I've listened to, this ranks as the best one yet. This is the second book by Dawkins that I've listened to. I am fascinated by evolutionary biology so I have a natural bias to this book and probably any book on the subject. While some parts of this book are dry, they are necessary for giving a complete picture to what is being discussed.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed the discussion on the cumulative selection early in the book. It is a very important concept that helps explain Darwinian evolution.


    Any additional comments?

    Dawkins is often viewed as an atheist paragon seeking to always tear down religion but this book does not do that. His focus is on evolution and why it properly describes how we as humans came to be rather than just attacking opposing views.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken METAIRIE, LA, United States 08-20-12
    Ken METAIRIE, LA, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2011

    kberke

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Book for Specialists"

    Blind Watchmaker was read by the author and his spouse—wonderful readers both. The book appealed to me because I had enjoyed The God Delusion and hoped for a similarly enjoyable and educational experience. I had also read The Selfish Gene, which seemed to me harder to read than Delusion. Watchmaker turned out to more like Selfish than Delusion. All good books, but if you don’t come to Watchmaker and Selfish with a burning desire to understand Darwin, you may, by the end of your reading, grow numb, as I did, with the details.

    By way of pointing out the elements I found most enjoyable in Watchmaker:

    1) The author’s reasoning skills are impressive. He has thought and researched deeply about every subject presented. Dawkins plainly announces that he means to convince his reader that Darwinian evolution presents the only rational explanation of the world’s complexity. Dawkins is anything but dispassionate.
    2) Dawkins often presents a view of things that seems to me non-intuitive, yet correct. A brief example: He states that cheetahs are the enemies of gazelles and that gazelles are the enemies of cheetahs. My reaction is, No they’re not. Gazelles don’t hunt cheetahs! Dawkins goes on to say that, from the point of view of the cheetah, if the gazelle can out run the cheetah, the cheetah starves to death. The success of the gazelle, therefore, brings about the extinction of the cheetah, which is the cheetah’s definition of “enemy.” Another: Are cows the enemy of grass? Well, yes, I suppose. In fact, no. Grass has a more formidable enemy than cows—weeds are that enemy. Cows eat grass, but also eat weeds. Voila. I hadn’t thought of that. And on and on.
    3 The description of a bat’s ability to hunt and navigate is worth the price of the book. And then Dawkins postulates humans from the bat’s point of view. Almost laugh-out-loud funny.

    I read Delusion when it was first published in 2008—the first of his books I had read. Perhaps it too had its more detailed elements, now not recalled, elements that I might have found tiresome—not that the fault was with Dawkins, but rather with a reader, not so interested in the details as he might or should be.

    So, a very good book, although not one to be enjoyed in its entirety with a merely passing interest in evolution.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 01-09-12
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 01-09-12 Member Since 2008

    Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    931
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    145
    81
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    164
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Dawkins book for a college grad"

    Start the kids out with a Dawkins book that's a little easier to digest, like "Greatest Show on Earth" or "Magic of Reality". Since I believe that EVERY human being should read Dawkins' work, I think it's only fair that I classify WHO should read this one. If you're a logical adult, with a decent education, then this is a must have for your library.

    If you are not familiar with Dawkins, then I cannot be clear enough about whether or not you should read this book. IF you are interested in Evolution AT ALL....even a little tiny bit...then READ THIS BOOK! It is the bible of evolution!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zamora Clifton, NJ, United States 09-07-11
    Zamora Clifton, NJ, United States 09-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Information"

    I have read the God Delusion and The Greatest Show on Earth. Professor Dawkins referenced this book and I wanted to listen to it on my commutes to work to further my understanding of evolution. This work has great information and good flow. I usually don't like when there is more then one narrator but this works out very well as there are times he is quoting something and then the narrator switches. This makes it easier to know this is occurring when you hear the voice change. Both narrators are wonderful to listen to.

    19 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emil Bogdanov Rockford, IL USA 08-10-11
    Emil Bogdanov Rockford, IL USA 08-10-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant!!!"

    Richard Dawkins is absolutely brilliant! This is one of the most intelligent and educational books I have ever listened to or read. He is showing with an excellent examples and associations how nature works. Listen to this book if you are interested in understanding how natural selection is the driving the evolution on our planet. Everything will make so much more sense!

    16 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel YAKIMA, WA, United States 01-25-14
    Rachel YAKIMA, WA, United States 01-25-14 Member Since 2009

    I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    130
    77
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit dated but still great"

    I really enjoyed the book. All of the technology references are laughably dated, but the biology, writing and explanations seem to hold up just fine.
    The only question I have comes up late in the book. I would like to know Dawkins' thoughts on newer research that seems to support a variation of Lamarkism. Dawkins' vehemently objects to the idea and his evidence seems clear except that I've read about inheritance of acquired traits in recent periodicals and would like to know if any new information has caused Dawkins to adjust his opinions (or if they are still as strong and he finds the new research flawed).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Ner York, NY, United States 08-22-13
    Jonathan Ner York, NY, United States 08-22-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Evolution made clear"
    If you could sum up The Blind Watchmaker in three words, what would they be?

    susinict, thoughtful, and comprehensive


    Have you listened to any of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, all due respect to Prof. Dawkins, Lalla is one of the best voice performers I've heard since I started using audible.


    Any additional comments?

    The beginning (definition bit) is slow and requires your attention but the rest is great and makes every point clear and if not "easy" at least logical to understand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 04-12-12
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 04-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    306
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    57
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    27
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quality"
    What made the experience of listening to The Blind Watchmaker the most enjoyable?

    One of the great modern thinkers - straight from the horse's mouth


    What other book might you compare The Blind Watchmaker to and why?

    The Selfish Gene. No prizes for guessing why


    What about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance did you like?

    Great narration. The switching added interest


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No, it was just sustained high quality


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 35 results PREVIOUS124NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.